Press Release3 Min

SMS group is one of the first operators of a private 5G network for researching real-time applications for the metallurgical industry

SMS group is using a “private 5G network” for research and development at its site in Hilchenbach.

Düsseldorf, 10. Jan 2024

Collaboration between Ericsson, Mugler, and SMS group


  • The 5G standard enables data to be transmitted up to ten times faster than with LTE networks
  • With a data rate of ten gigabits per second, real-time applications of large-scale plants can be used more securely and more flexibly in production while cutting emissions at the same time
  • Federal- and state-level funding supports the development of 5G projects

SMS is building its own “private 5G Campus network” for research and development at its Hilchenbach location in the Siegerland. Together with Mugler and Ericsson, a private 5G infrastructure was set up here that enables not only the testing of the highest mobile communications standard currently available, but also the advancement of new developments for the metallurgical industry. The industry is facing immense challenges when it comes to the development of new materials and the reduction of energy consumption and emissions. To achieve these far-reaching goals, a high degree of automation, digitalization in a real-time network environment is required.

The use of a private 5G network offers a whole array of approaches to solutions, which SMS is now testing for the first time on an industrial scale and developing for customers in the metallurgical industry around the world.

A “private 5G network” means creating your own network infrastructure based on a frequency and coverage area licensed for the customer that enables the worldwide provision and processing of data in real time.

The private 5G standalone Campus network used at SMS provides the basis for an initial test environment for the implementation of various 5G use cases. The network based on Ericsson Private 5G Technology (EP5G) was implemented by Mugler. Thanks to the efficient collaboration of all project partners, the system went live just four weeks after the project was launched.

Tests are carried out on applications from the fields of mobility and automated guided vehicles (AGV), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and lone worker applications. These are integrated and comprehensively tested at SMS’s Hilchenbach site, with the aim of optimizing their practical implementation. Moreover, the new private 5G network location serves as a platform for putting into practice the findings gained within the framework of the 5G-Furios research projects being run and funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project Zero-SWARM, and the CLOUD56 research project of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). The SMS test environment offers a unique opportunity to test use cases internally and to present them to potential customers in a clear and illustrative way. The 5G Campus network represents an important step in the evaluation of advanced digitalization technologies and their applications in the steel industry.

“This partnership gives us the opportunity to take huge strides in digitalizing the industry and developing new solutions by utilizing SMS group’s footprint in the steel industry and the 5G technology from Ericsson,” emphasizes Stefan Richter, Head of Local Networks - Campus Networks at Mugler SE.

“We serve the market with a sensor solution for production companies that is scalable and easy to integrate. Thanks to the 5G connectivity, it enables the transmission and processing of data to gain insights into the process that were jointly developed and tested at SMS group in Hilchenbach. SMS group is closing the gap between physics, sensor technology, OT, and IT,” says Jens Petri, Head of Technologies and Partnerships at SMS digital.



SMS group is renowned worldwide for its future-oriented technologies and outstanding service for the metals industry. The company applies its 150 years of experience and its digital know-how to provide the industry continuously with innovative products and processes – even beyond its core business – and generates worldwide sales of around 3.1 billion euros. SMS is the right partner for challenging projects, and supports its customers throughout the lifecycle of their plants, enabling profitable and resource-efficient value creation chains. Paving the way for a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry is the company’s stated goal. As a global player with German roots, SMS takes responsibility for its 14,400 employees.


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